NORTHERN FINLAND!, Reindeer Stew! June 2008

We headed from Kirkenes, Norway south to Northern Finland to meet and learn about the Sami.

The Sami are the indigenous people of the northern Scandinavian countries, including the Lapland Province in Northern Finland. For a long time the Sami were treated as second-class citizens, but in the 1980’s they gained autonomy and respect. One famous Sami is Renee Zellweger who is of Sami descent through her Norwegian mother.

Reindeer herding is a traditional Sami source of income, but only 10% of the Sami now earn their livelihoods this way with many having modern jobs in the cities. In additon to a wonderfully presented Sami museum, we went to a reindeer farm where we fed the reindeer and enjoyed a most delicious dinner of reindeer stew along with the original music and singing of our hostess. It was quite a treat.

We slept in Ivalo and flew the next day to Helsinki.

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